Wolf willow (elaeagnus commutata) with its silvery-green foliage and berries, yellow flowers and russety branches is common to the pastures, hillsides and coulees of the west central Canadian plain. First Nations women discovered that a dark brown elongated seed with warm creamy stripes nested in the pistachio-green meal inside each berry. They strung the seeds into necklaces and taught this art to newcomers. Wolf willow grows with wild roses and sea buckthorn on the 17th Street boulevard that runs in front of the property we’ve chosen for our Wolf Willow Cohousing community, and we’ll cultivate it as an ornamental shrub in our inner city prairie garden.
“…When the winter comes and the leaves have fallen off, the silver berries continue to stand out against the white snow and the blue prairie skies.”